Comparison of social networks of patients with unipolar and bipolar disease
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Psychiatr Pol 2007;41(5):665-677
Aim. The purpose of the research was to analyse the structure of social networks as well as types and sources of support received by patients with unipolar and bipolar disease. Method. Assessment was made according to Bizon's method and Cohen's ISEL. Results. It has been shown that the functioning of social networks of patients diagnosed as having unipolar affective disorders differs from the ones of bipolar disease. Patients with unipolar disorder do not mention many people of their environment as significant or providing support. They often restrict their interactions to family members. That is the group of people from which they obtain most support. In both groups all supportive functions often lie with one person. Patients with bipolar disorder find it easier to make acquaintance. When compared to the group of bipolar patients, patients with unipolar disease receive less support and the emotional support is the most deficient. Conclusions. It seems that a combined therapy of affective disorders should include not only pharmacotherapy and various kinds of psychotherapy but also ought to take structure and functioning of patients' social networks into consideration. So stabilising supportive relations in different aspects of life should be one of the aims in the therapy both in hospitals and outpatient departments.
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